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Relationship with the EU

This fact was correct when it was updated on 21 Sep 2020

What effect would Brexit have on free movement?

Ministers have decided that free movement will end at the end of transition to allow the UK to control its borders. Early on in the Brexit process, the government ruled out options such as joining the European Economic Area, which would have meant free movement continued. The rights of EU citizens who move to the UK before the end of transition are protected under the Withdrawal Agreement. They have until June 2021 to apply for settled status or pre-settled status if they have been in the UK for fewer than 5 years. After the end of the transition, people who want to live or work in the UK from all EU countries except Ireland will need to qualify under the new UK migration regime. There will no longer be any automatic right to come to the UK to work.

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